What Are We Doing to Girls? The Early Sexualization Phenomenon and How Communities are Responding

What are We Doing to Girls?  A Report on the Early Sexualization Phenomenon and How Communities are Responding. (2009). Jennifer A. Smith and Mindi Wisman. 39 pp.

Girls are now entering puberty a full five years earlier than they did in 1920. Why, and with what evident consequences? In What Are We Doing to Girls? The Early Sexualization Phenomenon and How Communities are Responding, we identify a variety of forces that are driving the early sexualization of girls, from media and marketing to biological and social factors. While researchers explore reasons behind the trend, parents and communities are attempting to combat negative fallout for girls themselves. This report is based on a thorough review of scholarly literature and interviews with social workers, teachers, youth workers and girls themselves; it describes an array of community-based approaches to the problem as well as the theoretical underpinnings of these approaches and what evaluations have shown about their effectiveness.

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